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Let’s face it: running a call centre isn’t cheap.

And while it can be tempting to try to automate calls as a means to cut costs, that can seriously impact your customer satisfaction levels: 9/10 people aged 18-65 said they preferred to speak with a live service agent directly over the telephone than any other means of communication.

So how can you spend less on each inbound call without affecting your customers’ experience?

It’s simple: you need to create a stellar call centre script — and we’re going to show you how.

Why use call centre scripts?

Having operators use scripts when handling customer calls can significantly improve call efficiency. Using scripts can:

  • Decrease training time for recruits
  • Reduce the number of mistakes made on a call
  • Promote consistency so that every customer has a similarly excellent experience
  • Improve the retention rate of key information

This increase in efficiency can have huge financial benefits. Research from SQM shows that a 1% improvement in response rate efficiency can lead to an annual operations saving of £208,500 ($276,000) for the average call centre.

So without further ado, we’ll show you some call centre script examples that really work so you can reap the benefits for your staff and your business straight away.

Nailing the opening

You don’t get a second chance at a good impression, so it’s vital that you open your calls as well as possible. Here’s how.

  • Get to the point — Whether you’ve called them or they’ve called you, your customer doesn’t want to waste time. Keep your introduction as concise as possible.
  • Give the customer your name — Giving a name humanises the operator and reminds the customer that they’re speaking to a real person.
  • Brand your call — Mention the name of the company in the introduction of each call to help customers associate the brand with good customer service.
  • Let the customer know the call is being recorded — The customer needs to consent to this up front as you cannot record them without their knowledge.
  • Invite the customer to speak — Wrap up your introduction by handing it over to them and allowing them to be heard. At the beginning of the call, your customer will want space to present their problem and know that they are being listened to.

Example opening:

“Hello, thank you for calling [name of company]. My name is [name of representative]. At this time, I’d like to let you know that this call may be recorded for quality assurance and training purposes. How can I help you today?”

Crafting a great call experience

Your script will need to be adaptable enough to meet the needs of your customers, no matter what they need or what industry you’re in.

Regardless, there are some key things you should include throughout the main body of the call.

What to include Example
Segments where the operator can use the customer’s name to show that they’re valued. “Is it okay if I ask you a few questions about [topic], [customer name]? … Is there anything else I can help you with today [customer name]?”
Empathy statements to show customers you’re on their side. “[After complaint] I’m very sorry to hear that [customer name], I understand how frustrating that must be.”
Opportunities for the caller to say “yes” to put them into a mindset of agreement. “I understand that you’ve asked to learn a little more about [offer/topic]. Is that correct?”
Branching conditions that anticipate different customer responses. “Would you like to know a little more about [topic]? (IF YES) [Details of topic] (IF NO) That’s no problem, [customer name], I’ll move on to [next topic].”
Ending the call well

The way you end a call will determine the last impression that your customer is left with once the conversation has finished. That means you need to make sure that everything the customer wanted to discuss has been covered and that they’re satisfied with the call.

Here are a few ways you can do that, along with an example of how it can all fit together.

  • Summarise what you’ve done for the customer over the course of the call — Not only will this remind the customer that you’ve helped them, but it will also let them know if there’s anything that might have been missed as the call went on.
  • Ask if there’s anything else you can do — Having heard what has been done, the customer can now flag anything that’s been missed.
  • Thank the customer for their time — Even if it’s only a few minutes, the customer has taken time out of their day to speak with you. Thanking them reminds them that their time is valued.
  • Brand the call once more — You’ve provided your customer with a great experience, so the ending of the call is another chance for you to associate your brand with that high level of satisfaction.

Example

“Okay, [customer name], your account is now up-to-date, and you understand how this service now works. Is there anything else I can help you with today? [wait for response] Thank you very much for you time, [customer name], and thanks for calling [company name]. We look forward to working with you in the future. Have a great day!”

Some additional tips

By now, you should be equipped to put together a solid call centre script for your staff. These additional tips can help you take it to the next level and ensure it works for your staff and your customers alike.

  • Use call recordings to monitor the quality of your scripts and to ensure staff are upholding your standards and following your scripts
  • Be concise with your wording
  • Give space in the script for caller responses
  • Avoid cliche phrases like “Your call is important to us”
  • Don’t over-rely on a script — let your operators improvise if it’ll provide a better customer experience on that particular call
  • Constantly adapt your script to reflect any changes in the company or to provide a better experience for your callers
  • Cut out long paragraphs that would make reading sound mechanical
  • Build in some FAQs
Still need help?

If you’re reliant on automated systems and would like to provide a personalised service, but don’t have the resource available, CALLCARE can help.. Thankfully, CALLCARE offers you a way to outsource your calls so that you can provide a professional, personalised approach to customer service.

We work alongside you in crafted tailor-made scripts for your company, so that when your customers call, they get a truly authentic experience of your brand, regardless of who is taking the call.

You can find out more about our call outsourcing services here.

The post How to write an effective call centre script (with examples) appeared first on CALLCARE.

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Landing an interview isn’t down to luck — it’s down to the person that reads your CV. And with call centre jobs in high demand right now, it’s likely that whoever will read those opening lines of your personal statement has read hundreds more like it.

So how do you ensure your name makes it onto the shortlist?

If you want a shot at that call centre role, you need to make sure your CV grips the reader from the first line and packs plenty of punches all the way through.

To help you out, we’ve put together a short guide based on our own experiences on how you can create a CV that’s irresistible to employers across the country.

Section by section

A CV is much more than a single document: it’s a compilation of opportunities for you to show your potential interviewer that you excel in all sorts of different ways.

Let’s break it down to understand how you can use each section of your CV to your advantage:

  1. Personal statement — This is your tailored first impression, so make it count! Include plenty of punchy statements and compelling arguments for why you’re the best person for the job.
  2. Work experience — Don’t just tell the recruiter where you’ve worked before: tell them about what you did there, how you made a difference and what you learned.
  3. Qualifications — Extracurricular or vocational qualifications help you stand out from the crowd.
  4. Hobbies and interests — What you do in your spare time speaks volumes. Use this section as an opportunity to showcase your personality.

We’ll go through each of these points with a few tips and some examples to boot, so you’ll have your CV ready in no time.

Personal statement

If you’re not much of a writer, it can be easy to dread the personal statement, since it’s the part of your CV that involves formal, uninterrupted writing, paragraphs and all.

But here’s the thing: employers don’t want to wade through writing for the sake of it. Instead, think of your personal statement as a letter to the reader explaining why the job interests you and why you think you’d do it well.

Most importantly, you need to hook the reader’s attention and keep them firmly gripped. Here’s how you can do that:

  • Opening line — This is an instrument to make your reader pay attention, so every word counts. It doesn’t need to be explosive; instead, start with why you’re interested in the job. One of the best ways to do this is to link it with your key skills, which in turn makes it easy to follow on into the next paragraph. For example: “I’m very interested in the role of call centre operator because I consider listening to be one of my best attributes, which I can use to solve a customer’s problem in the best way possible.”
  • Length — A good rule of thumb for an effective personal statement is keeping it to a few paragraphs; around half a page of A4 should do the trick. Your objective should be to include as much relevant information as you can and then stop. Delete anything that’s only in there to flesh out the word count. Short and sweet is better than long and repetitive.
  • Structure — Be kind to your reader: make your personal statement easy to read. The best way to do this is to use plenty of short paragraphs rather than a few long ones, with each paragraph making one point. The first sentence of each paragraph should provide an overview of what you’ll discuss.
  • Tangible examples — Whenever you make a point about yourself, try to include an example to back it up.  For instance, if you always go the extra mile, mention how you impressed one customer so much they named you specifically in a 5-star review for the company.
  • Confidence — Many young people are too humble on their CVs because they don’t want to appear boastful, but employers expect you to bring everything you’ve got to the table. If you shy away from highlighting your skills or achievements, they might think you can’t do as much as you know you can. Writing confidently and don’t be afraid of making a statement you think is a little bold. If in doubt, get a friend to read over it to give you a second opinion.
Work experience

Many people make the mistake of assuming that employers only want to see where you’ve worked and for how long.

But if you only list your previous employment, you’ll miss out on a key opportunity to show a potential employer how each role you’ve had has helped in your development as a reliable, professional person. You have to tell the reader not just what you did, but how you did it, and how it’s going to help you in the role for which you’re applying.

For each piece of work experience you list — including voluntary work — try and answer the following questions:

  1. What new things did you learn?
  2. What was your biggest achievement while you were there?
  3. What skills did you improve and how? (For call centre roles, you’ll want to think specifically about communication, listening, problem-solving and keeping calm under pressure)

Answering these questions transforms your work experience into a list of reasons why you’ll excel at the job. It makes for a compelling read and helps you stand out from the crowd.

Qualifications

Not everyone is academically talented, which is why a lot of us dread the qualifications section of a CV. However, you can stand out from the crowd if you think outside the box.

Here’s what you should add to your qualifications to make sure you get noticed:

  • Minimum requirements — A lot of call centre roles require that you have certain academic grades; that might be a C or above in a particular subject at high school or a minimum number of GCSEs. Make sure you include these on your qualifications list. If you don’t meet the requirements for whatever reason, don’t be afraid to get in touch with the employer and ask to discuss it; being proactive in this way shows the employer that you care enough about the job to reach out, which means they’re more likely to bend the rules for you.
  • Vocational qualifications — If you’ve had professional training in one of your previous roles or even for voluntary work, you should list the qualifications here. It’ll help show that you have a diverse skill set and that you’re capable of learning on the job.
  • Extracurricular qualifications — Whether you have grades in a particular instrument or a course you did on your own time, it’s important you include it here because it shows you can apply yourself to improving a particular skill of your own choice. It’s also a great talking point for the interview; an opportunity to share the story behind it with your potential employer.
Skills

Qualifications are important, but they don’t define your full capabilities. In the skills section of your CV, you have the opportunity to tell your employer what you’re good at, even if you haven’t received a certificate for it.

Here are some key skills you should have on your CV if you’re applying for a role in a call centre:

  • Strong organisational skills — Employers need to know they can trust you to work efficiently to get the job done.
  • Workload and time management — Lets the recruiter know you can handle and resolve queries without letting calls go on longer than they need to.
  • Excellent telephone manner — This is a given: you’re an excellent communicator with a politeness that puts customers at ease.
  • Team player— It’s important to demonstrate that you can confidently work as part of a team.
  • Able to remain calm under pressure — This one is particularly important since you’ll be helping customers that may sometimes take out their frustration on you.
  • Good understanding of computer operating systems — Shows you can quickly adapt to whatever internal system the employer might use to help resolve queries faster.
The full package

The good news is that a call centre role is one that involves plenty of personal development from the start, so don’t worry about being the finished article. Above all, make sure your CV displays your passion for the role and employers are sure to take note.

Follow our steps, and it won’t be long until you get that call you’ve been hoping for.

Thinking of working for CALLCARE? Check out our careers page to see what roles are available. For more advice, check out our tips for smashing the interview

The post How to write an impressive CV for a call centre role appeared first on CALLCARE.

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When it comes to providing the best possible service to their customers, larger businesses can feel at a disadvantage compared to smaller companies.

Large companies often have far more customers than smaller companies. As a result, they sometimes struggle to provide each customer the time that they need to resolve their problem. And when you can’t solve a customer’s problem, it’s only a matter of time before they start looking elsewhere.

However, big businesses actually have a number of advantages over their smaller counterparts. If wielded properly, they can plug the leaks in their customer loyalty strategy by ensuring that their customers feel like they’ve been listened to.

Below, we’ve taken a look at the best ways larger companies can boost their customer loyalty.

1. Be available whenever a customer wants to contact you

In the internet age, customers expect big brands to be contactable at all times.

Even as far back as 2013, British Airways had to learn this the hard way, when a complaint from a customer called Hasan Said went viral. After the story broke and BA’s lacklustre response, Said asked: “How does a billion-dollar corporation only have 9-5 social media support for a business that operates 24/7?”

Now, social media support has become an industry norm, and those brands that aren’t fully embracing it — and its around-the-clock nature — are falling behind. Recent studies show that 63% of customers expect brands to offer customer service on social media, and 1 in 3 social media users say that they would use the platform to contact a company for help before any other medium.

The good news is that large businesses that embrace social media can enjoy some huge benefits, as 65% of people say they feel more loyal to a brand that reaches out to them on social media. That makes platforms like Facebook and Twitter essential customer retention tools.

A great way to capitalise on this is to invest in a customer service team that can use live chat and social media to respond to customer queries at all hours to help build brand loyalty.

2. Provide customers with all the information they need

One advantage that larger companies have over their smaller counterparts is that they typically have more CRM resource to produce detailed email strategies.

One of the first and most important steps in building customer loyalty is ensuring that all potential customers are given a proper welcome to your brand. Over the course of your initial emails, a customer should learn about your company’s mission, about other products relevant to them, and any key features relevant to them that they have access to across your site.

A successful welcome journey can also prove lucrative. Research from Experian showed that welcome emails typically generated three times as many transactions per email as other promotional emails.

Create a welcome journey that introduces your customer to your brand in the best way possible. Use this opportunity for them to provide feedback and ask questions, either via an online portal, an independent review website or by replying to the email directly.

If you have access to more advanced CRM systems, you can create welcome journeys that react dynamically to a customer’s decisions; if they choose to go to your FAQs and leave, you could follow up with an email allowing them to ask their own question for a customer service representative to answer directly. This gives you the edge over smaller companies that don’t have the same resources.

3. Subvert expectations

Customers tend to trust big brands less than smaller ones. According to Forrester, consumer trust is at an all-time low, with media stories of fraudulent dealings on a wide scale continuing to diminish the belief that brands are acting in the public’s interest.

Many larger companies have customer services departments that are struggling beneath a backlog of calls, so, unfortunately, many people have had at least one call with a big brand in recent years that was a little tenser than it should have been.

However, you can use this common conception to your advantage.

Investing in your customer services department is the first step. If your customer services department has to deal with too many calls each day, overall customer satisfaction will be lower as a result. Ease congestion by hiring a call centre that can help with call overflow during peak times.

That way, your staff will feel more relaxed and empowered to spend more energy resolving each customer’s issue in a friendly, proactive manner. A great customer service experience can turn even the most difficult problem into an opportunity for brand advocacy, so the more you invest in your people, the bigger the returns when it comes to customer retention and acquiring new customers.

Invest in your people

Boosting customer loyalty when your business is growing can be tough, but the solution comes down to investing in the right kind of people. Having more staff on hand to respond to queries in a timely, friendly manner — whether that’s on social media, with proactive emails or over the phone — is the best way to ensure each customer is given the best possible treatment. That way, you subvert the negative expectations that your customers might have, helping you stand out from the crowd.

To find out more about how CALLCARE can help you keep more of your customers happy, get in touch today.

The post How to boost customer loyalty – even in a large company appeared first on CALLCARE.

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In a recent survey carried out by UK call-handling specialists CALLCARE, 64% of respondents felt that their salary wasn’t high enough to match the stress of their job.

With the economic pressure on UK businesses following 2016’s EU referendum, businesses are more cautious about investing in higher salaries, especially in light of the increase to the national living wage levy.

As a result, making up the deficit in this salary-stress ratio isn’t simply a case of making more money. It’s more important that workers understand how to reduce the amount of stress they experience in the day-to-day, to reduce their risk of burnout or depression.

Why are we so stressed out?

Stress is by no stretch of the imagination a new development. In fact, stress is a necessary part of our physiology; it’s what pushes us to work harder when we need to, and historically it’s what saved us from the jaws of a hungry predator.

Yet in the world of work — where circumstances aren’t quite as “life or death” as they were for more primitive homosapiens — stress has become something of a dirty word.

Dr Dimitrios Paschos, Consultant Psychiatrist at Re:Cognition Health, highlighted the scale of stress as a problem in British workplaces. “The total number of working days lost in 2015 / 2016 was 11.7 million days,” he said, “which has a huge effect on businesses and the economy.”

He urged businesses to address stress as a mental health problem in the workplace. Failing to do so, he warned, “will end up costing businesses more money in the long run in sickness absence costs.”

But what’s the source of such high levels of stress?

Geraldine Joaquim, Clinical Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist at Mind Your Business, points to technology as one culprit in turning stress into a chronic problem.

“We spend a huge amount of our adult life at work and it often carries over into our home life, with emails pinging well into the evening,” Joaquim notes. “This constant switching of attention — from texts and emails to social media — is exhausting, and leaves us feeling like we haven’t achieved much.”

Feeling unproductive is yet another source of stress, because we often find a sense of purpose in our work. The frustration of non-productivity is toxic to our mental health if it is allowed to build up.

The key to reducing stress

One of the main reasons that work stress feels so overwhelming is that it builds up over time, because many UK workers — especially those at a higher pay grade — struggle to “switch off”.

Richard Daniel Curtis, leading behaviour expert and founder of The Mentoring School, said that stress can be strangely addictive. “When people get used to a certain level of stress, it becomes the ‘norm’ for them,” he explained. “As humans, we’re programmed to return to our default emotional state — our ‘norm’ — which is known as ‘hedonic adaption’.”

Hedonic adaption in people with high-stress jobs can be damaging to their mental health, because stress can only be relieved when the mind can relax. “We get used to high demands and then struggle when those same demands are no longer placed on us,” Curtis continued: “that’s the reason why it can take a few days for you to start relaxing when you’re on holiday.”

Being able to unwind without thinking about work is the only way to detox the mind from the toxic pressure that builds up with days and days of uninterrupted work.

Practical ways you can reduce stress at work

Preventing stress from building up is vital to feeling content in your job. Follow these helpful tips to ease stress…  

Change what you can, accept what you can’t — If you can learn to accept what you cannot change, you won’t become easily irritated when things go wrong. Instead, you’ll reduce the scope of your concern to only those things you can actively control, helping boost your productivity and job satisfaction.

  1. Attention management — We live in an era of constant interruption from emails, telephone, texts, social media and apps. Help yourself focus on the task at hand by delaying notifications on your phone and computer for the duration you intend to work for.
  2. Take a break — Make sure you use up all of your holidays, even if you just spend a week at home. This is important in training your mind and body to relax, so it’ll be easier for you to de-stress in future. You should also take your whole lunch break if you can, engaging in something other than work to help refresh your mind.
  3. Nurture your relationships — Actively listen to other people, make new connections whenever you can, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from managers, colleagues, friends and family. Sharing your problems often helps you realise they’re not as big as you originally thought.
  4. Practice mindfulness — Take time in your day to meditate, sign up for a yoga class, and listen to mindfulness podcasts to help declutter your mind so you can think more clearly.
Focus on your long-term happiness

When stress at work becomes a chronic problem, no salary will ever be enough to compensate for overwhelming stress.

Instead, stressed employees should focus on what they can do in and out of work to reduce the amount of stress they’re feeling, which in turn will boost their productivity and — as a result — their career prospects.

The post How to shrink your stress levels without hurting your salary appeared first on CALLCARE.

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CALLCARE by Gemma Harding - 7M ago

Interested in getting a job at a call centre? We don’t blame you. Some 4% of the UK’s workforce are employed in call centres, and this figure is only set to grow as the sector continues to go from strength to strength.

In addition to the demand for high quality, customer centric candidates rising, modern day call centre roles go hand-in-hand with a variety of attractive benefits. In most cases, no experience is required to apply, and positions include an excellent array of opportunities for gaining new skills, joining diverse teams and climbing up the career ladder.

With such a range of advantages however, call centre work is in high demand, making impressions at your upcoming interview even more of a priority. Follow our top tips, win over the most difficult interviewers and land the job you want.

Remember practice makes perfect

Practice questions are a great way to gain confidence on the subject. Our recent call centre interview questions blog post is an essential read for those looking to find out more about the most common topic, and more importantly, how they should be answered.

Tailor your interview style

Answering questions in accordance with the needs of the call centre you’re being interviewed for is also important. Be sure to do your research, finding out more about the call centre’s ethos and specialisms. Taking the time to tailor your interview style to the exact needs of the company interviewing you will certainly be appreciated.

Think of scenarios

All interviewers want to hear of instances where you’ve shown your talents or called upon useful skills. Avoid uncomfortable silences when being asked about these scenarios by thinking about your experiences in advance. Pinpoint a selection of examples, concentrating on the qualities and skills expected of a call centre agent, and be ready to recall them at your upcoming interview.

Understand your weaknesses

Everyone has areas that they’d like to improve. Most candidates think that brushing over weaknesses is the way forward during the interview phase, but turning these to your advantage is preferred. Preparation is the key to countering your weaknesses. Before you enter the interview room, review the job specification to identify any areas where your skillset doesn’t quite match up. By understanding these shortcomings, you can plan how best to answer the queries that surround them.

Dress to impress

Whilst most call centres are known for their relaxed work attire, dressing to impress at the interview is important. First impressions count, and whilst most interviewers won’t take a candidate at face value (paying more attention to their experience and attitude rather than their outfit), every little helps when presenting yourself as a professional, proficient prospective employee.

Cover the fundamentals

Your call centre interviewer will have a long list of desirable skills and qualities, and while you may be able to tick the boxes in some areas, forgoing the basics is not an option. Sometimes the simplest approach is the best approach. Concentrate on representing your communication skills (which are vital to the role of any call centre worker), while demonstrating the flexibility, can-do attitude and trainability that is integral to success within the call centre environment.

Finding candidates that are more likely to grow and progress with the company is a priority for all call centres so don’t be afraid to share your hopes for your wider career.

If you’re going to start working in a call centre, it’s important to have a great telephone answering style. Read our guide on how to perfect yours right here. Our wider blog is also full of useful tips and advice for existing call centre staff and inspiring call centre workers.

The post 6 tips for a call centre interview appeared first on CALLCARE.

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